I have a water tap in the garden of the house. My little son keeps opening it regardless of how tight I close it. I would like to seal it off. I was hoping to find a metal cylinder shape element which I can screw on the tap water end. Any help would be highly appreciated.

Please note that I can't close the water supply to the tap.

  • 1
    Don't go closing it too tightly. If this is a frost-proof spigot then you can easily damage the internal seals and end up with a leaky spigot. FWIW, installing a ball valve in the basement leading to my outside spigots is one of the better decisions I've made in regards to plumbing.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Jun 16, 2020 at 12:03
  • 13
    Another solution is to realise that this is a learning opportnity, where KM23-Junior can learn and there's not a lot lost. While a technical solution might solve this problem, it doesn't teach KM24 why this is wrong, which prepares him for the next time something tempting appears. Separately, you could shut off the mains water supply at a Toby, or Main Supply Valve, somewhere on the edge of the property to permit work done on the tap fitting. Just means the house is without water for a while.
    – Criggie
    Jun 16, 2020 at 12:43

7 Answers 7


You can get a hose cap and screw it on nice and tight.

enter image description here

You could also remove the handle if it has one screw in the middle.

You can also do a web search for "locking hose bib" and find a plethora of options.

  • 4
    A simple cap probably won't stop a kid who's determined enough. (OP didn't specify his age, but if he's strong enough to turn on the spigot, he can probably figure out how to remove the hose caps). Those locking ones might work, though that seems a bit excessive. Really this is more of a Parenting.SE question than a DIY one... Jun 16, 2020 at 15:03
  • @DarrelHoffman If the OP uses a pair of adjustable pliers (channel lock) to tighten it on then a strong adult will not be able to unscrew it by hand.
    – Alaska Man
    Jun 16, 2020 at 16:08
  • I suppose - my impression was they wanted to still be able to use the spigot with minimal effort, but just prevent the kid from opening it the rest of the time. If you have to wrench that thing off and on again every single time, I imagine that would get pretty annoying, and also risk damaging the threads over time from the repeated stress. Jun 16, 2020 at 16:18

Hose caps as mentioned above will definitely do the trick. You might think about just removing the spigot handle. They usually just have a screw in the center holding them to the valve stem.


I would put a hose on it and add a valve at the end--either one that he can't operate or one that's stored out of reach.

Other ideas:

  • Add a hose cap to the spigot
  • Do a "safety wire" locking technique, like race car drivers do, where a small wire is passed through the knob and tied around the spout to prevent it from turning
  • Install one of those spinning child-proof knobs to the spigot handle
  • 1
    The only problem with leaving a hose on the end is that its going to be pressurised, and garden hoses aren't great at holding even normal pressure indefinitely. Plus ice formation will rupture the hose if its left full..
    – Criggie
    Jun 16, 2020 at 12:40
  • I was just about to post the child-proof doorknob covers. That's what we did to ours and it worked great. Does the job plus makes it still easy enough for an adult to use the hose without much extra effort.
    – Gary
    Jun 16, 2020 at 15:02
  • Alternatively, there is a lockout specifically for this application: grainger.com/product/…!
    – Gary
    Jun 16, 2020 at 15:04
  • 1
    @Criggie: if the OP lives in a freezing climate and doesn't have a hose-bib shut-off valve they're going to have worse problems than a busted hose. And those "frost-free" hose bibs are garbage. Jun 17, 2020 at 3:11

You could also replace the hose bib with a different version that needs a special key to use it.

Here are some examples. I'm not endorsing the sites or the brands, they are just examples I found online.

Stem locks

"Standard" Square pattern keys

Child lock stems

Some of the products are the full spigot and some are just screw-in replacements for the current valve and handle system. If you go this route, make sure you know what you need and what you're getting. That "child lock" system looks like it only works with certain brands of sillcock as a replacement for the valve.


You could use a tap lock.
tap lock
They are common where I am from (South Africa), but a quick google and it seems you might have to import them since they don't seem common elsewhere. Here are some links
They might just have a different name in other countries.


you can take the knob off of the valve, so that he cant turn it on

  • This was suggested by AlaskaMan. Please make sure you aren't duplicating suggestions/Answers. Jun 19, 2020 at 15:40

If you don't like the "buy a lock" or "remove the knob" answers, you and your son could construct a small shed around the faucet as a bonding project. Then park your car in front of the doors.

enter image description here

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